All POST research is conducted in-house by either its permanent staff or by one of its doctoral/post-doctoral fellows. These fellowships are a distinctive feature of POST. They are funded by many UK charitable scientific foundations, by learned societies, by most of the UK’s Research Councils and by individual universities. Through them, fellows spend usually three months at POST, working on one of its well-known »POSTnotes« or assisting a parliamentary committee. Well over 100 such fellows have now been at POST.
POST’s work lies heavily in the area of »expert analysis« conducted by the staff and fellows but augmented by an intense dialogue with outside individuals and organisations with a relevance to the subject area.
POST has, however, pioneered various methods of public engagement in the UK. It co-sponsored the first and second UK national »consensus conferences« – on genetically modified foods and radioactive waste management. A particular development was POST’s first-time use of online consultations at the UK Parliament, developed in partnership with committees during the course of an inquiry. POST has also organised public consultation meetings held in the constituency of a Commons Board member.
In 2007, the House of Commons Public Administration Committee recommended that POST should spearhead at the UK Parliament a greater focus on longer term issues. In many ways such a focus has always permeated POST’s work, but, in responding to the committee’s welcome recommendation, POST has put additional effort into this area, often in collaboration with the UK government’s Foresight and Horizon Scanning units.
Chapter Work Procedures and Methods - all countries
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